As of September of this year, I have been actively analyzing the robotics industry for a decade.
During that time the industry has progressed greatly? products have come to market and proven themselves, companies have emerged and some have gone public, other companies have been purchased by larger organizations.
Robotics investment is up, as are installations. Robotics, it seems, has finally arrived.
With robotics, the exceptional has given way to the everyday. News concerning drone strikes and off world rovers are commonplace. On two occasions, and in two locations, I have seen highway billboards advertising robotic surgery services.
Articles on the Uncanny Valley run side-by-side with photos of the Kardashians.
Yet even after considerable mainstreaming, the robotics industry still boasts of much vigor and fresh faced optimism. Unfortunately, platitudes also abound. The revolution is just around the corner. Robotics is the first new industry of the 21st century. It is like the automobile industry in 1920s. It is like the PC industry in the 1970s. And on and on. It gets to be a bit much, but the passion and earnestness is genuine and hard not to like.
I myself have uttered these same such phrases, and frankly they do contain much that is true. Today, however, I am a bit more cautious. The robotics revolution, I have found, is not just around the corner. The revolution is always just around the corner.
But still, robotics is after all a relatively young business sector, and one in which research advancements, technological developments, and societal need have combined to remove barriers to innovation and commercialization.
Currently the industry is expanding rapidly and in continuous churn. As such, it is very difficult to see larger, repeating patterns of technological, business and research significance. It is these patterns, the ?forest? in the forest and trees metaphor, which can inform decision making when developing new products and services, and positioning for future growth. In this enlightening keynote, these patterns will be revealed.
Attendees at RoboBusiness 2012 will learn the answers to the questions, ?Where is the robotics and intelligent systems industry at this point?? and ?What are expectations for future development??
A grander vision as to the larger role that robotics will play in society will also be discussed. And most importantly: Will the revolution always be just around the corner? Or?if not, how soon will it come into view?